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The student code of conduct includes the right of students to freedom of speech. That right does not guarantee anyone freedom from feeling offended--neither this protester nor students who may find his speech offensive. That's the beauty of living in America under our Bill of Rights: It includes the right to disagree.
As a mom I put my daughters on the bus as young teens, secure in the knowledge that they would always end up in downtown if they got mixed up on routes. They developed independence and mobility skills their friends lacked and led "field trips" to Northtown Mall for kids whose parents had not enabled them to develop those skills. They also learned that the world holds people of all shapes, sizes, accents, behaviors, and so on.
One of them is now living in Brooklyn and working a summer job before returning to her junior year of college on Long Island. She'll be able to keep working weekends during the school year because she is confident using the transit it takes to go back and forth.
When we teach kids to use transit we prepare them for the world beyond Spokane. The Plaza contributes to that and is an asset to downtown that needs investment to contribute more.
For those who have concerns about people who aren't exactly like themselves, some of whom face challenges I'm fortunate not to have, I suggest dedicated effort to address solutions to some of those issues. The Plaza doesn't cause a problem such as poverty--in fact, transit is a lifeline.
If you want to help Paul get rolling again, here's how: http://wabikes.org/2014/08/12/help-replace…
If you want to help Paul replace his bike (and get a super-good lock), here's a way: http://wabikes.org/2014/08/12/help-replace…
Would people donate to a bike replacement fund if we set one up through Washington Bike? I say this with some trepidation because we don't have staff capacity to fact-check stories, prevent generous donors being taken advantage of by those who would manipulate, and all the rest, but I want to help.
Or we use one of the existing platforms that allows people to crowdsource donated funds for personal stories and we help amplify that, so it is up to donors to decide and give directly.
Thoughts? If people read this and have a generous response, what next?
The boycott is one form of economic action. Another form it could take would be for everyone to then march down the street to a different bar--one that takes a responsible approach toward serving alcohol, naming its drinks, and monitoring/managing the behavior of its patrons--and spending money there.
That kind of bar is the competitor the bar needs to worry about. I don't own a bar (or a media outlet, for that matter) and I've moved out of Spokane but I still have family and own a house there and hate to see this firestorm associated with our city's name.
It would be great to see the Boycott Facebook page have far more fans than the bar's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Spo…
The people on one side of this are making a clear stand: It's against rape. I have a hard time understanding what the other side thinks it stands for, exactly. What's the next drink to be added--Molesterjitos? Molesteritas?
One more thought for the owners: http://www.spike.com/shows/bar-rescue
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